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tv   ABC World News Now  ABC  July 22, 2009 3:05am-4:30am EDT

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w mexico into west texas. wildly scattered thunderstorms from georgia to louisiana. >> new orleans, dallas and miami hover around 90. 88 in baltimore. st. louis 79. a high of 107 in phoenix, 98 in salt lake city, 81 in seat approximately >> well, the white house goes a little bit country, at least for one day. >> sounded like they went british. >> brad paisley and charlie pride introduced people in the east room. allison krause and union station also performed and took part in workshops for student, schooling them on songwriting and other aspects of the business. >> allison krause is great. president obama said even though people see him as a city boy, he appreciates listening to a
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little bit of country music. >> i doubt brad paisley was singing that song "alcohol" either. ♪ alcohol ♪ >> this is what growing up in texas does to you. we'll be right back. ♪
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>> welcome back. authorities in cambridge, massachusetts have dropped disorderly conduct charges against an acclaimed harvard professor. >> henry louis gates was led away in handcuffs after someone reported an attempted break-in at his home. it was gates trying to get inside because his front door lock was jammed. the police report says gates accused of officer of racism when asked for identification. a police official tells abc news race played no role in the arrest. >> police in florida say a teen-ager is revealing details about the break-in, attack and murders of a prominent couple raising a house full of children. >> the oldest daughter of the victims is speaking out. jeffrey kofman reports from pensacola. >> reporter: 12 days after the brutal murders of bud and
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melanie billings, police have seven suspects in custody. in court documents released today, one of the suspect alleges there was a lone shooter, leonard patrick gonzalez, jr. he has maintained his innocence. but it's still not clear why, why did the perpetrators spend 30 days planning a lightning fast home invasion that left two parents dead and nine severely disabled children orphans? ashley markium can't answer these questions either but as the eldest daughter of bud and melanie billing, she met with us at the home of the family's lawyer it talk about her family and the future and what happened to her parents >> it's just been very overwhelming, everything. i don't think i've had my personal time. there's a lot more to worry about right now than stopping and grieving. >> reporter: you haven't had a chance yet? >> i really haven't. i have to keep going for the children. >> reporter: and there are a lot of them.
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bud and melanie billings had a staggering 17 children, all but four adopted. the nine still living at home have down syndrome, autism and fetal alcohol syndrome. what motivate as couple to adopt so many children with such challenging needs? >> i believe their motivation came from giving these children a better life. they found these children to be perfect. >> reporter: what was it like seeing your mom day to day dealing with these children? >> there weren't moments where she fell apart or ever felt she couldn't do it. it was, you know, i'm going to do it. if nobody wants to help me, i'll do it by myself. she loved children. that's all she ever wanted to do was to be a mommy. she had more patience than i could ever dream of having. >> reporter: with bud and melanie billings murdered, there are now nine bewildered children in need of constant care. ashley said she had talked to
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her mother about what she wanted to see happen if she died. >> the main focus of the plan was to keep her children together. >> reporter: and who was to take care of them? >> me. >> reporter: she said that to you? >> yes. >> reporter: did you say yes? >> oh, definitely. >> reporter: ashley and her husband plan to move into the sprawling nine bedroom home bud and melanie built to care for the children. right now friends and neighbors are busy repairing and repaenting what was a bloody crime scene. ashley is just 26 years old. it is clear she will need her mother's determination and her patience. has it hit you what's ahead? >> it's definitely starting to sink in. children waking up at midnight and don't want to go back to sleep until 6 a.m., it's not a schedule i'm used to. >> reporter: do you want this? >> more than anything. i feel like it's the number one way i can honor my parents and if i have to do it by myself, i'll do it by myself.
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>> reporter: until this week ashley was running the used car dealership her father started and a car finance company. bud billings also owned a strip club that he sold years ago. that has helped fuel rumor and speculation that he was involved in something unsavory that made him a target. what's it been like for you to hear these things said about your parents? >> there's not much anybody could say that would break down any perception i have of them. i know who they were. >> reporter: can i throw some of them at you and just let you dismiss them? is that okay? >> sure. >> reporter: drugs? >> my parents didn't even drink. i would never, never think that drugs would ever be involved. >> reporter: money laundering? >> it's public record, you know. if there were problems, government would have stepped in, i believe. >> reporter: there's this idea floating out there that your
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father had somehow done something to provoke this, that he was the target here, not money or anything else. >> i just believe that everybody has enemies. i don't think that anything could provoke this. i think that it doesn't matter what somebody does, they don't deserve something like this. i've questioned everything. i don't know how there are people in the world that have that magnitude of hate in their lives, especially to people who had nothing but goodness. >> reporter: do you feel the need to know why your parents were killed? >> i need to know. i'm -- there's parts it have i want to know and there's parts that i don't ever need to know. but why, why somebody would do this to these children.
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and to know that these children were there and to put these children through this for the rest of their lives, i need to know why somebody did that. >> reporter: ashley, her husband and the nine children are expected to move back into the family home by the end of the month. for "nightline" i'm jeffrey kofman in pensacola. >> and she now almost literally has the weight of the world on her shoulders, not only trying to figure out exactly what led up to think but then tending to the family. >> very composed for a 26-year-old girl. as far as all those suspects you key seeing, right now seven of the men arrested remain in custody. that woman has been released on $10,000 bail. >> the sheriff is saying they rehearsed the thing like a month before this. >> it's so hard they to believe they could target people with such big hearts ? >> in a moment the tough time for america's dairy farmers. >> why their problems could
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impact your next trip to the supermarket. that's all coming up next. er.
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>> american dairy farmers are losing up to a million dollars a day according to industry estimates. >> money problems on the farm are having an impact on livestock and the prices we pay for milk, cheese and butter. mike von fremd reports. >> reporter: outside of president any california, cobb webs cover the milking equipment and hay barn, empty. >> it was the most emotional thing i ever had to do. i also had to be the one when it was time to say good-bye to say, daddy sh it's time. >> reporter: they were losing $70,000 a month. after 40 years in the dairy business they sold their cows and got out. dairy farmers across the country have been hit by the global recession as hard as any single
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segment of the economy. it costs dairy farmers $1.50 to produce a gallon of milk. but since the beginning of of of the year, they've only been getting $1 back, a staggering loss of 50 cents on every gallon they produce. it's a crisis of supply and demand. sales of other carry products at the supermarkets are down, cheese, ice cream, butter, even yogurt. >> the situation we have right now is that a lot of farmers are living on borrowed time and borrowed money and they're going to run out of both very soon. >> the national milk producer federation reason as farmer finance program that bought their herd and over 100,000 other dairy cows so far this year. all were slaughtered to reduce the number of cows producing milk. but even a drop in the amount of milk has not managed to increase its price. 15% of the dairy operations near
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his will be gone by the end of the year. what's your biggest fear? >> losing what my grandfather started. i'd be mortified if that was to happen. >> reporter: but until the price dairy farmers receive for milk goes up, the number of dairy farms in america is certain to go down. mike von fremd, abc news, tipton, california. >> it's sad to see family farms closing up. >> these are family traditions that have come a end. it's sort of strange because the output of dairy products last year climbed to an all-time high. but then demand has sunk a little bit. it's economics 101 here. >> hopefully it will rebound. in a moment, a huge adrenaline rush. >> it's paper time and we are going to take you for a ride on a roerl coaster in a very nontraditional way. it involves skates. >> i was so mesmerized by your hand, i couldn't listen. so creative. >> we'll explain and have
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pictures for you next in "morning papers." when morning comes in the middle of the night, [ rooster crow ] it affects your entire day. to get a good night's sleep, try 2-layer ambien cr. the first layer " dissolves quickly... to help you fall asleep. and unlike other sleep aids, a second dissolves slowly r to help you stay asleep. when taking ambien cr, sleepwalking, .and eating or driving... while not fully awake with memory loss for the event... as well r as abnormal behaviors... such as being more outgoing or aggressive than normal, confusion, agitation and hallucinations may occur. don't take it with alcohol... as it may increase these behaviors. allergic reactions such as shortness of breath, swelling of your tongue r throat may occur... side effects may include next-day drowsiness, dizziness, and headache. in patients with depression, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide ma occur. if you experience any of these behaviors or reactions...
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two-star prices. ♪ save big on car rentals, too, from $13.95 a day! >> announcer: "world news now" delivers your "morning papers." >> that's right. it's time for "morning papers." before we get to that, we have a little celebration. it's somebody's birthday. >> pete, come on over here. and kristin. ♪ happy birthday to you >> what's pete going to eat? that's just enough for me. we got an ice cream cake. you like those, right? >> we had no idea if you liked ice cream cake but jeremy and i like it so we went with it. >> you've been on the show for how many years now? >> 17. >> how many times have they celebrated your birthday on the
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air? >> every year. >> really? we thought we were doing something special here. >> i'm 39. doesn't be smart. >> jake is always razzing him. >> he's always razzing me like i was a waiter at the last supper or something. >> he used to date mae west. we know that much. heart birthday to you. >> thank you. >> if it's an ice cream cake, we're going to enjoy this. >> we had to call the fire marshal. happy birthday to peter grimm. send your birthday wishes to him on facebook. >> before the break i did the whole this thing and talking about the roller coaster. now we have pictures. this guy decides he's going to go crazy and get on a roller coaster but he's not going to ride in the car, he's going to strap skates to his feet. look at this. he got these specially outfitted skates and he took on the roller coaster reaching speeds at times of 6 miles an hour.
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he went down a half mile long track. he's 36 years old. this happened in germany. he said i know i was putting my life at risk here. it's a wooden roller coaster, if there was one stray nail, i could have slided to my death. >> quite the dare devil. this next story is about indians. they're having a lot of trouble bus of monsoon rains. they need the rains to come. they're rely og on an ancient hindu belief. they took frogs more or less and the frogs were meant to symbolize two mythological -- a couple. so more or less they were going to take the two frogs, smear their head with paint and they're head up in the air in a ritual in the hope this would
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bring rain. >> it's like a frog marriage. >> we'll see if it brings
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>> economic recovery. >> economic recovery. despite seven straight days of gains on wall street, a sobering reminderfrom fed chairman ben bernanke. >> unemployment is going to stay high for quite a while. >> then money matters. why some small business own verse reservations about president obama's health care reform plan. >> and miracle pills that promise everything from losing weight to curing impotence. are we becoming a nation hooked on magic bullets? it's wednesday, july 22nd. >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news now." >> we've yet to find that magic pill that makes us so awake and alert for this time of night. >> this is my magic pill.
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>> is that coffee? >> vodka. good morning, i'm vinita nair. >> good morning, i'm jeremy hubbard. we have come to expect grim economic news but on wall street this morning the sun seems to be shining. >> the dow jones opens at its highest point since january 6th after gaining for seven straight days. ben bernanke says a recovery is in the works but on main street things will be bumpy for a while. >> reporter: green arrows on wall street seven straight days and counting. despite a reduction in revenues compared to prerecession levels, strong profits from a slew of corporate heavyweights and tech darlings like apple led traders on a buying spree, optimistic an economic recovery is under way. >> while main street may not be doing that well, unemployment rising, foreclosures going up, wall street is looking to where the economy will be in six months, they're seeing good news and it's pushing the market up
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now. >> reporter: but on capitol hill, a sobering prediction for a nation worried about jobs. >> i want to be clear that we have a very long haul here. even if the economy begins to turn up in terms of production, unemployment is going to stay high for quite a while. it's not going to feel like a really strong economy. >> reporter: the federal reserve chief said it means a continued wave of foreclosures. >> our assessment of foreclosures is that it's likely to peak in the second half of 2009, corresponding with the peak in the unemployment rate and perhaps be somewhat less in 2010. but clearly we're going to have very high levels of foreclosures and unemployment rates are a big reason for that. >> reporter: congress wanted to know when households and small businesses will be able to get easy access to lending. >> approximately what time frame do you think small business owners will be able to see the same kind of credit availability they had before? >> reporter: bernanke says he's hopeful that the banking system will improve and lending restrictions ease but he doesn't
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expect a return to previous lending practices. >> in terms of having the exact same terms and conditions they had before the crisis, maybe that will never come back. credit is sort of permanently tightened in that respect. >> reporter: as to whether a second stimulus package is needed, bernanke said it's too early to determine considering only a quarter of the current stimulus has been put to use. >> president obama takes his case for health care reform to the american people tonight in a primetime news conference. on capitol hill the president is facing increasing opposition, even from some in his own party. democrats opposed a to federal funding for abortion says the tax money will allow money to be used for ending pregnancies. >> the opponents would rather score political points than offer relief for americans that have seen premiums double and
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costs grow three times faster than wages. >> if the bill fails it will be because of disagreements among the democrats. >> such as those who are concerned about cost controls. >> and then there are the thousands of small business owners who are worried about what health care reform will mean to their bottom line. chris bury gauged reaction in the small town of woodstock, illinois. >> reporter: the debate from washington struck a sour note in a community of 25,000 that depends on its small businesses. what concerns you about what you're hearing from washington? >> well, basically they're not listening to us, the small businessman, and they're moving pretty fast with this whole program. >> reporter: this jeweller provides health care for his 37 employees. do you feel an obligation to cover your employee's health? >> absolutely. my employees are my greatest asset. >> reporter: still he's skeptical of the pay or play reforms in congress that would require him to pay a penalty, up
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to 8% of his payroll, if he does not play by providing health coverage. >> it's easy to pay the penalty. it may be cheaper than providing health insurance but what will the quality of health insurance be? that's the debate. >> reporter: across town at the public house employees are not covered. with a payroll at more than a million dollars at three locations, the owner fears heath reform could cost him a hundred thousand dollars, forcing him to raise prices or worse. what would it mean to your business if you had to pay another hundred thousand dollars in taxes? or penalties? >> it would severely hurt us. >> i would question whether it's worth staying in business. >> reporter: this waitress expects the government, not her boss, to make insurance available. >> i think we should have to pay for insurance but at least make it so it's doable, not so outrageous. >> reporter: at the farmer's market, tracy employs 11 workers but with a payroll less than
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$250,000, she's relieved by what she hears from washington. her tiny business would face no penalty for not offering health insurance. >> i can hardly afford to provide it for myself and my family, let alone for our employees. >> reporter: while we heard a lot of different opinions, one thing was clear: businesses here feel that health reform is moving too fast and many of them worry they would face the brunt of crushing new costs. chris bury, abc news, woodstock, illinois. >> and you can watch president obama's primetime news conference right here on abc news beginning tonight at 8:00 eastern time. >> alaska governor sarah palin is in hot water again. an independent investigator said she may have violated ethics laws by accepting private donations to fight other ethics violations. public officials are not allowed to do that. governor palin cited the flood of ethics charges which she believes are frivolous as one of the reasons she decided to leave office.
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>> 1,700 workers will be let go, more than 3% of its workforce. continental has been hit particularly hard by a reduction of travel and the swine flu outbreak. >> safety experts are questioning why the government withheld evidence about the dangers of talking on cell phones while driving. six years ago researchers concluded that talking on the phone, even hands free, was dangerously distracting to drivers but the results were buried. the former head of the national highway traffic safety administration says he was urged to keep the information secret because it might have angered congress. >> now here is a look at your wednesday forecast: scattered showers and thunderstorms from the great lakes into the ohio and tennessee valleys, drenching detroit, cincinnati and nashville. rain in the southern rockies and west texas. >> a high of 86 in albuquerque and colorado springs. salt lake city 98, boise 102, 80s along most of the east coast, 76 in chicago.
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>> it was a rare treat for sky gazers across asia this morning, longest total eclipse in nearly 20 years. >> millions gathered to watch as morning turned into night. >> so cool to see. >> can you look at this with your bare eyes? >> i don't know if you're supposed to. >> it lasted six minutes, 39 seconds. it's when the moon completely covers the sun and casts a shadow on the earth. >> in case you were wondering, the next solar eclipse is a long while out, 33 years. if you saw it, you should have videotaped it. >> i want to see a total eclipse of the heart. >> how about hear it. >> no, we don't have that song. oh, yes, we do. how about that. >> nicely done, david. ♪ nothing i can say, a total
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eclipse of the heart ♪ can say, a total eclipse of the heart ♪ assistance getting around their homes. there is a medicare benefit that may qualify you for a new power chair or scooter at little to no cost to you. stay tuned for this important medicare benefit information and free scooter guarantee. imagine... one scooter or power chair that could improve your
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the scooter store got me back out in the world again. talk to. there is a medicare benefit that may qualify you for a new power chair or scooter at little to no cost to you. >> troops in iran are still >> tro >> troops in iran are still
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patrolling the streets of tehran trying to stop protests. >> amateur video shows police and military trying to fight back antigovernment protestors. >> now to afghanistan where the pentagon reports rebel attacks there have increased 60% over last year. >> many victims of those attacks are sent to a coalition military hospital in kandahar. bob woodruff just visited the medical personnel now working at the base, the doctors and nurses who saved his life. who saved his life. >> reporter: they keep coming. every day the injured and the dying pour into kandahar air base. >> the pure number of injuries coming through now in afghanistan? >> it's increasingly a lot. i think we're going to hit some records this month. >> reporter: on this night a 12-year-old boy shot in the face. was he shot by a rifle? >> who knows. >> reporter: find out soon. >> we'll find out soon. >> reporter: a 10-year-old boy hit by a bomb. his his father, mother and brother were killed. he is now alone. >> you have to put an armor on
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and not let that through. i suppose after it will come. you always pay for it after. >> reporter: right now you got to concentrate on helping him and saving him. >> that's right. our hand has to be steady and our judgment cool. >> reporter: while it's well known the number american casualties in afghanistan is rising, 602080% of those killed or injured here are afghan civilians, already this year over 1,000 victims. the medical team helps anyone who comes through this door, including insurge nts. >> they get the same treatment. >> reporter: you just have a different room? >> a different room so they don't hear the conversation. >> reporter: with the violence rising, doctor, nursing, medics who first served in iraq are now needed here. what i never imagined was that two of those who helped save my life three and a half years ago would be here saving others. do you have in idea how many lives you've saved? >> many our joint trauma system has saved, i don't know? >> reporter: thousands?
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>> thousands. >> reporter: this lieutenant removed rocks from my brain and neck but gave most of my credit to the medics who stopped my breathing. also lieutenant mike mccarty. he was one of the nurses who took care of me when i was in a coma. >> you're in front of a camera again. that's fantastic. >> reporter: i know. it's a miracle. i'm giving hugs to them. this is personal. this is the guy that saved so many lives, including mine. it's very emotional. it is what they do best, saving lives day after day, war after war. bob woodruff, abc news, kandahar, afghanistan. >> i can't imagine how emotional that must have been forbob right there. we mentioned bob was injured in iraq. many of these medics who worked on him were in iraq, too. but now they've gone to afghanistan. we talk about the violence, they're much more needed in afghanistan now than in iraq. >> reporter: it is amazing to see that before shot. i had no idea how severe the
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injuries were to the side of his head. it's also turning into a huge hub for operations for the coalition forces. traffic is certainly increasing. >> no doubt. >> still ahead, is it a miracle medicine or just a way to make profit soar? >> the promise behind it and why americans will swallow just about anything. next.
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>> we are pushing forward with that incredible story we told you about yesterday, the 4-year-old boy pulled out of a burning suv in milwaukee will probably be in the hospital for three months. >> two brothers, off-duty firefighters rescued the boys, his sister and mother after their car crashed and burst into flames. the boy is in intensive care. the father calls the two brave firefighters heros. >> there are angels all around us and i'd like to thank everybody. >> we were just in the right spot at the right time. >> humble guys. of course it was all captured on camera. police want to know if the mother fell asleep at the wheel or if her car had a mechanical
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problem before the crash. >> the nation seems hooked on popping pills. drug companies are pushing everything from cholesterol medicine to pills to boost performance in the bedroom. >> you might call it an obsession. even wall street investors are hooked on modern medicine. >> this is your last chance. after this there is no turning back. >> reporter: confused by the dazzling array of new pills on the market? imagine keanu reeves' dilemma in "the matrix." you take the blue pill, you wake up and believe whatever you want to believe. you take the red pill, you stay in wonderland and i show you how low the rabbit hole goes. >> decisions, decisions. even the president is trying to figure it out. >> in this case the blue pill works better as the red pill. >> reporter: just this week
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came word of what could be another miracle pill, an obesity group. in test groups it helped around half the people lose around 5% of their weight after a year. but, wait, let's do do the math. >> a 5% weight loss i'm not upset about at that at all, i'm very happy about that. however, if you have a 200 pound person, that amounts to about ten pounds lost and amounts to about three quarters of a pound of weight per month. >> reporter: hmm, that's it? that's enough for wall street. the stock shot up and they hope to put the pills on the market next year. and there will be plenty of buyers in a country that loves its pills like we do. just last year prescription sales jumped to a whopping $291 billion. pills that promise to give you a
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tan, grow you hair, make you smart or make you happy like lisa simpson. if i take this pill, i will grow a larger -- well, you know. >> if you haven't tried extenze, you probably aren't getting the most performance out of your love life. >> make you stop smoking, have a bigger bust, have fewer periods, make you go to sleep or stay awake. oh, yes, those caffeine pills. >> jesse, give me those! >> you can't sing tonight. >> yes, i can! i'm so excited! >> i think everybody is looking still for that magic bullet, the snake oil, the feel good stuff, you know, the i can get it all done and i don't have to work for it. >> reporter: even when we don't always know the long-term effect, we'll swallow it. when it comes to weight loss pills, we'll swallow anything. >> it's more of a desperate thing now. now in 2009 it's how quick can i lose it, what can i take, i want the weight off now and i want my life back.
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but it simply doesn't really happen like that. a lot of people still want that magic bullet. >> reporter: who knows, maybe that new obesity drug finally will be the magic bullet, that miracle drug we've all been waiting for. until then there are plenty of other options for everything that ails you. scientists are working on a pill to cure forgetfulness. maybe we can take it to remember which pills we're supposed to take. >> i always get e-mails for the ones to enhance performance in the bedroom. it's like they know something i don't. the drug extenze has all these bizarre ingredients. it sounds like a recipe more than an herbal remedy. >> i'm always fascinated by how they create these miracle pills. with viagra initially they were studying hypertension and they realized the side effects. >> this is a cocktail of drugs used to treat depression and
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alcohol dependency.
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when morning comes in the middle of the night, [ rooster crow ] it affects your entire day. to get a good night's sleep, try 2-layer ambien cr. the first layer " dissolves quickly... to help you fall asleep. and unlike other sleep aids, a second dissolves slowly r to help you stay asleep. when taking ambien cr, sleepwalking, .and eating or driving... while not fully awake with memory loss for the event... as well r as abnormal behaviors... such as being more outgoing or aggressive than normal, confusion, agitation and hallucinations may occur. don't take it with alcohol... as it may increase these behaviors. allergic reactions such as shortness of breath, swelling of your tongue r throat may occur... side effects may include next-day drowsiness, dizziness, and headache. in patients with depression, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide ma occur. if you experience any of these behaviors or reactions...
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contact your doctor mmediately. wake up ready for your day-- ask your healthcare provider for 2-layer ambien cr.
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>> a look at hollywood and >> a look at hollywood and highland, the intersection right there in l.a. one of the biggest prop houses in hollywood is closing at the end of the month because of the economy. >> so everything is going on the auction block and it's all stuff seen on tv or in the movies. here's alex stone. >> reporter: when a hollywood producer has an urgent need for, say, a life-size submarine, the grave stone of a private first class or whatever this is, they've historically come here. >> we're in the middle of a warehouse that's over 200,000 square feet, one of the biggest prop houses in the world.
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>> reporter: harvey swartz created this movie prop empire. >> basically i started in the and teague basis 40 years ago and some of the early movies i can really remember that did a really big job with me would be the blade runner. that was 1979. i remember it well. it was a good year. >> reporter: but times are changing and the poor economy and with more tv shows and movies giving up on hollywood for tax breaks in other cities, the hollywood prop industry has gone from boone to bust. >> losing money has been disastrous for the company and the company can't with stand this loss any longer. >> reporter: this prop house is shutting down. >> there's a lot of history here. >> reporter: what do you do with old movie pieces like this shot up cadillac? if the company can't find an investor, all of this will be sold at auction in the coming weeks. >> it's really difficult to let go. the hardest part really are the employees. i had 28 employees at the
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beginning of the year. i've got seven now and those employees that are out on the streets, a lot of them haven't found jobs yet. >> reporter: the problem now, nobody knows where to even start with prices on these items. like the morgue from the tv show "the x files." >> everybody needs a morgue. >> reporter: or more classic memorabilia. >> the really big item will be the howard hughes desk that was his original hollywood office desk. >> reporter: right now everything here is priceless but at the end of this month, it looks like these pieces of hollywood history will go to the highest bidder. >> some pretty pricey stuff there. you'd think they'd get good bids. then again the watergate hotel, nobody bid on it. >> you hear about all thee movies making all this money like harry potter, you wonder what effect cgi has in all this.
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you do everythin
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>> primetime pitch. president obama makes his case for health care reform tonight while his critics ramp up rhetoric against the plan. >> then driving distraction. the government exposed for keeping americans in the dark about the real risks of driving while using a cell phone. >> and we have people die as a result. >> and put a lid on it. why food preservation is making a huge comeback. it's wednesday, july 22nd. >> announcer: from abc news, there is "world news now." >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news now." >> maybe it's time to dust off that food saver. i've got that vacuum thing. i used it like twice. >> i'm guilty.
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i'll save anything. i get yelled at about it a lot. >> you can borrow my food saver. >> i need it. good morning, i'm jeremy hubbard. >> i'm vinita nair. for the tenth day in a row the president is putting his health care reform plan at the top of his agenda. >> it now appears less likely democrats will be able to put an actual bill on the table any time soon. viviana hurtado joins us this morning. >> reporter: good morning. the president will have the spotlight at a news conference this evening, but leading up to this event, mr. obama alternately applied pressure and gave praise to lawmakers. president obama tried to ease democratic lawmakers' concerns about the price tag for health care reform. it's expected to top $1.5 trillion. he focused on common ground. >> we are closer than ever before to the reform that the american people need and we're going to get the job done. >> reporter: both the democrats' bill and the house and senate would reform insurance rules to prohibit denying coverage for those with preexisting medical conditions,
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offer a government-run plan and and compete with private plans and focus on wellness plans. the president replaced carrots with sticks. >> i know that there are those in this town who openly declare their intention to block reform. >> reporter: some who have put the brakes on reform are members of the president's own party. >> there's about ten issues we're concerned about. cost cutting is first on that list. >> reporter: on capitol hill, republicans are continuing their steady pressure. united in their opposition to the president's plan, gop lawmakers have latched on to the democrats' division. >> what we're seeing currently is a bipartisan majority has formed against the current proposal. >> reporter: the white house has backed off its august deadline. the focus now is to have key capitol hill negotiations wrapped up by lawmakers' summer recess with the bill on the president's desk for signature
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by the end of the year. >> viviana hurtado, thanks. >> and abc news will provide live coverage of president obama's primetime news conference beginning tonight at 8:00 eastern. >> on wall street investor optimism is fuelling a stock market surge. the dow opens thorn at its highest point since january after making gains for seven straight sessions. in his semi-annual report to congress, federal reserve chief ben bernanke confirmed a modest recovery is in the works but he warned there is still a long way to go. >> i want to be clear that we have a very long haul here. even though if the economy begins to turn up in terms of production, unemployment is going to stay high for quite a while so it's not going to feel like a really strong economy. >> bernanke said foreclosures will remain high, too. he said the steps the government had taken to stem economic calamity have been a success. >> safety experts are questioning the results of a
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government study of the dangers while talking on a cell phone were driving were kept under wraps. here's lisa stark. >> reporter: just how dangerous is it to talk on a cell phone while driving? six years ago government researchers scrutinized more than 100 studies and found a troubling picture, evidence that cell phone use in cars was growing and that even talking on a hands-free device was dangerously distracting. >> what the government knew is that talking and driving is just as bad as drinking and driving. >> reporter: studies found drivers using hands-free devices are still so focused on the conversation they don't pay attention to the road. some wanted to sound an alarm. >> the government had developed a full-blown communications plan. >> reporter: that plan to inform the public, government and industry that both hand-held and hands-free cell phones contribute to driver distractions. drivers are advised not to use any wireless communication devices while driving except in emergencies. but this effort by the national highway safety administration
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never happened. it was buried. >> we have the talking point, we have the releases, we have what the plan was going to be. it just was never launched and we had people die as a result. >> reporter: some safety advocates believe if the government had mounted a massive effort to warn against any cell phone use in cars, that lawmakers and drivers may have listened. not one state banned cell phones outright while drive. five states and washington, d.c. banned hand-held phones but that creates a false sense of security and doesn't reduce risk. >> it makes more sense to enact a law that covers any kind of cell phone. the difficulty is enforcement. >> reporter: it's unclear why the agency didn't act, whether it was worried about congress or the cell phone industry or had other safety priorities. but in the years since, cell phone use in cars has doubled. lisa stark, abc news, washington. >> new crash tests on two-door cars show safety improvements
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are being designed into smaller vehicles, too. the ford focus and volvo c-30 earned top honors. the cobalt, honda civic and psion were tested. all were found to be good or acceptable in the side impact test. a lot of people worried about those little cars but it looks like they're coming a long way. >> good news considering they're a lot cheaper. here's a look at your wednesday weather: stormy from wisconsin to tennessee with thunderstorms, heavy rain and flooding. scattered showers in georgia, alabama, mississippi and louisiana. drier in the northeast with lingering rain in northern new england. >> a high of 81 in boston, 83 in new york, 88 in baltimore. mostly 70s across much of the midwest. up to 15 degrees hotter than normal out west. 102 in boise. 86 in portland and 94 in sacramento. >> getting hot in boise, isn't it? >> they've had a warm week. >> playing dirty in sports is
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usually a no-no but it just couldn't be avoided at the annual event in finland. >> more than 300 teams turning out for the swamp soccer world championships. they were struggling to score in knee-deep, soggy mud. no surprise both the men's and women's teams from finland were the winners. >> reporter: the sport originated there. it was spawned after cross-country skiers started training in the swamp. >> i hate watching soccer on tv because i think it's boring but that i would watch. >> i feel like that should be our group outing. we should do this. >> can you see peter grimm in shorts, knee deep in the muck and filth? >> me on the sidelines having a beer. >> we know that. >> we'll be right back with more "world news now." ♪ i'm in the mud
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>> california lawmakers vote tomorrow on a budget deal that calls for taking money away from city and county governments to cover a $26 billion shortfall. >> some local governments may sue as schools and social programs expect to take a huge hit. in our american landscape this morning we have coverage from our stations in san francisco and sacramento. >> announcer: this is new 10 at 6.
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>> good evening. thanks for joining us. today we're finally learning details on this budget plan. as you might imagine, the cuts in social programs and education aren't making it an easy sell at all to the rank-and-file lawmakers, the ones who have to to vote on it later this week. >> reporter: california is on the verge of transforming how it helps its most vulnerable citizens, the poor being disabled and elderly. their safety net will be severely scaled back. >> the leaders say they saved the safety net, but the actual details suggest the safety net has been shredded. >> reporter: low income children will be the hardest hit. welfare-to-work moms used to be able to get cash assistance for just their kids. but with the proposed cuts, the state would completely cut the family off. >> it just seems unconscionable that you could do this at a time of such high record unemployment.
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how are people supposed to find work, why would we want to punish them now at a time like this? >> reporter: healthy families wouldn't be able to insure as many low-income kids. while the cut is $124 million, the state loses twice that in federal funding. child welfare groups estimate about half a million kids would be denied health coverage and another 400,000 would be kicked off the program over the next year. taxpayer groups say the cuts are necessary because california has been far too generous. >> we've had the best welfare programs in america. that's no longer sustainable. i think what we're going to see is a delivery of social services more aligned with the average of other states. >> reporter: democrats are taking a lot of heat for cutting programs they were elected to protect.
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senate president steinberg acknowledged the cuts are painful for him but given the financial crisis he's proud this he saved them from complete elimination. >> we did make some cuts but they weren't nearly as bad as they could have been. i have the old can i sleep with myself test at night. can i sleep with what i did. >> reporter: the vote is scheduled for thursday. democrats have two days to decide whether they have the stomach to change california's safety net. >> announcer: this is abc 7 news at 6. >> california lawmakers are banking on a very big economic recovery to bail the state out of its financial mess. >> the budget deal struck in sacramento last night makes up a $26 billion deficit through $15 billion in spending cuts and $ 11 billion in borrowing and accounting gimmicks, for example, collecting some of next year's taxes this year and paying some of this year's bills next year. and it means another fee increase for students in california state university system. the system took measures to close a shortfall of more than half a billion dollars today.
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>> reporter: cal state university students protested outside the chancellor's office today. that didn't stop the board from approving a 20% fee hike on top of a 10% increase already approved in may. >> it could really affect me just as a student getting classes where i'm living, what i'm going to eat. it affects everything. >> reporter: raising fees will help close a $584 million systemwide budget gap. starting this fall students will pay $672 more a year for an average undergraduate tuition of just over $4,800. it's not just students feeling the impact. cal state university faculty and staff are being asked to take those now infamous furlough days. trustees are asking for two unpaid days a month, which amounts to a 10% pay cut. the state faculty association will have the result of its furlough vote later this week but many employee groups have
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already said yes in hopes of saving jobs. >> in this economy nowaday we try not to have neighbor laid off. >> i'd rather know i'm saving other people and other people are saving me. >> reporter: in another cost cutting move, enrollment in the 23 campuses will be reduced about 10% over the next two years. >> that will limit access. that will change the way that we operate. san jose state in the fall will be a smaller place. we'll have fewer students. >> reporter: many argue cuts to higher education will simply prolong the state's financial crisis by reducing the ranks of an educated workforce. >> it may sound cliche but we are the future and we need the education to better our situation and to help our leaders and to help us. >> reporter: students will feel the budget impact when they return to school next month. >> well, it is not yet clear l the state will be able to stop issuing ious once the legislature approves the budget.
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the budget agreement keeps friday furloughs going for 200,000 workers through june. some state parks will be forced to shut down but the vast majority will remain open. the governor can sell some state-owned properties. >> a look at our american landscape coverage talking about the california budget crisis. doing the math with the students at that one school, they're talking about a 30% increase in fees over the course of one year. you can understand why those kids are out there protesting >> the governor right now is saying this is exactly what he didn't want. he said in essence we're kicking the problems down the road. this is exactly what i urged the state legislature not to do. >> it's like robbing peter to pay paul. >> exactly. >> still ahead, the espn correspondent everyone is talking about. she got some unwanted exposure. >> the scandal that is putting the skin in the "skinny" next. nny" next.
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>> by the way, mr. president, in this country we have a long line of presidents who look great in tight jeans. lyndon johnson, for instance. william howard taft and of course president lincoln chopped wood almost exclusively in cut-offs. might not be a bad idea to make a quick stop at the gap at some point. ♪ skinny, so skinny >> i think president taft had to lay down on the bed to buckle those pants. >> involved some wrenches. so by now you may have heard about this because it feels like everybody is talking about it. this poor broadcaster for espn, she's very well known. her name is erin andrews -- i had to make sure i got the last name right. you probably have seen her on
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espn. she has tons of fans. what has happened is video has surfaced of her totally naked in her hotel room. this is not video she was licensing to have shot. now it's popping up everywhere on the internet to the extent where you try and download it, you could get a virus on your computer. the poor girl is saying she is going to pursue both civil and criminal charges against anyone who publishes this material. she had no idea what was going on. one of the big issues is initially they thought it was in her hotel room, maybe it was a camera that had been set up in the hotel room. now they're saying the footage looked like she was actually following her as she was totally nude. so it could have been someone standing there watching the whole thing. >> maybe someone who knew her or who knows. worked with her. it's hard to say. >> you just feel bad for her. >> bad deal. i'm sure you've been e-mailed linked.
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>> don't open them. you're going to get a virus. >> ashton kutcher, too much time on his hands. he takes those nikon pictures and puts them in photo shop. and his wife demi moore, she's the new victim there. look at that. that's not real. that's not her new hair cut. she didn't get a mohawk. he was goofing around on twitter and said, hey, my wifey just got a new hair cut, what do you think? he said this to the one million people who follow his every move on twitter, he said i'm just playing around, baby, you'd look great with that cut if it was for real. >> i have to say i'm impressed they've been together this long. >> they've been married three years. >> and she's apparently not too upset by his prank. >> she seems to be a good sport. >> you may remember a while back we told but a couple of kids going to like a summer swim hole and when they get to the swim hole the people involved, it was
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a very bizarre situation where they turned them away and then later put out a statement and the kids were mainly african-american and hispanic kids, they put out a statement saying we didn't want to change the complexion of the pool. tyler perry is swooping in and footing the entire bill for all of these kids from creative steps day care to go to disney land. he's paying for their airfare, their food, accommodations and admission for a three-day visit to -- >> tyler perry rocks. when that story first happened, everybody was so upset and offended by it. the pool tried to back pedal. now he's making right. >> and it's good for those kids, too. at least they'll have a great summer. >> the gop takes a lot of knocks for not being very hip. now they're channelling lady gaga. take a look at this. ♪ >> that's the new video. they're talking about president
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obama. they changed it from "just dance" to just tax. >> that's not your father's republican party. cost to you. stay tuned for this important medicare benefit information and free scooter guarantee. imagine... one scooter or power chair that could improve your may entitle you to pay little to nothing to own it. one company that can make it all happen ... your power chair will be paid in full. the scooter store. why should you call the scooter store today? because their mobility experts are also medicare experts. and that means the scooter store is your best shot at qualifying for a scooter that costs you little to nothing. hi i'm doug harrison. pay little to nothing out of pocket.
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how do we do it? we know what it takes to get you your power chair it's our strength. it's our mission. and we back it up with the scooter store guarantee. if we qualify you and medicare denies your claim for a new powerchair or scooter, i'll give it to you absolutely free. i paid into medicare all my life, and when i needed it the benefit was there for me. the scooter store made it so easy. i didn't pay a penny out of pocket for my power chair. the scooter store got me back out in the world again. talk to. there is a medicare benefit that may qualify you for a new power chair or scooter at little to no cost to you.
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>> here are some stories to watch today on abc news: president obama hosts his fourth primetime news conference since his inauguration tonight. he's expected to address health care reform, unemployment and the economy. abc news live coverage begins at 8 p.m. eastern. >> vice president joe biden travels to u cane and georgia to pass along support from the white house as those two countries try to join nato. >> and general motors releases its latest quarterly sales figures, its first sales report since the automaker cut nearly 2,000 daeperships last month. >> you've heard a lot about the home grown food trend, many americans growing fruits and vegetables in the back yard
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gardens this summer. >> linsey davis has expert advice. >> reporter: whether turning strawberries into a sweet jam or tomato into a canned purree, the economy has more people saying yes, we can. >> i got hooked on the quality and i was persuaded by the simplicity. >> reporter: the savings of do it yourself has the art of amateur food preservation making a comeback. one response, put a lid on it. >> a lid is important. it has to be fresh and you have to use a new one every time you can. >> reporter: it's lest lease than $1 for each jar. you can use them again and again. new lids cost about 15 cents. in her book "well preserved," eugenia cooks up recipes for canners. >> we are keeping it super simple. >> reporter: add citric acid. >> a quarter teaspoon per height. >> reporter: leave about a half
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inch of head room. >> you need to have some room for the air to escape. >> reporter: pop out any air bubbles. >> then wipe your rims with a nice clean towel, put on the softened lid, right, and then you screw on the band fingertip tight. >> reporter: boil 50 minutes for raw pack or 40 minutes for puree. on the web site, you can just pick the letter of the food you want to preserve and it shows you how. linsey davis, abc news. >> what do you think, you're going to can or keep on food saveing? >> i use a little of both. the food saver, not to do a commercial but that thing works. my grandma used to can a lot. i really like they have these canned hot pickles. they're like pickles but they put some hot stuff in them. you get them out and they're really hot. >> i don't know what you're talking about but they sound good. >> they're just pickles but they're flavored hot, spicy. i don't know how they do it.
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>> maybe someone on facebook will write in. >> tell me h
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